Acadia Senior College


The Evolution of Americans Who Tell the Truth - from Defiance to Education

April 23, 2021

12:00 Noon

Virtual presentation via Zoom

Painter and social activist Robert Shetterly will talk about the trajectory of his Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) project, a series of portraits and narratives that highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness. He will discuss the project's origin, its growth, and its lessons. He will talk about the many people who have become part of the project, and highlight some of the people he has painted, what they've meant to him, and what they mean to all of us. Shetterly will show some of the portraits during the presentation, because as much as this project is about history and activism, courage and persistence, it's, first, about art.

Robert Shetterly graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English literature and after moving to Maine in 1970 taught himself drawing, printmaking, and painting. His painting has tended toward the narrative and the surreal, however, for more than ten years he has been painting the series of portraits Americans Who Tell the Truth. The exhibit has been traveling around the country since 2003, and to date has visited 26 states. The portraits have given Shetterly an opportunity to speak with children and adults all over this country about the necessity of dissent in a democracy, the obligations of citizenship, sustainability, US history, and how democracy cannot function if politicians don’t tell the truth, if the media don’t report it, and if the people don’t demand it.

Shetterly has engaged in a wide variety of political and humanitarian work with many of the people whose portraits he has painted. Much of his current work focuses on honoring and working with the activists trying to bring an end to the practice of mountaintop removal by coal companies in Appalachia, on climate change, and on the continuation of systemic racism in the United States.

Click here for more information about AWTT and Robert Shetterly.

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You will receive the Zoom link the day before the presentation.

The Evolution of Americans Who Tell the Truth - from Defiance to Education